First Power: Finance Lab at the Social Finance Forum 2012


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Overview presentation on First Power impact investing initiative by Founder Donna Morton.

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  • Restore Indigenous values to the world, Indigenize the world through business . . .Invitaioninclusion
  • Who matters tooThis is my band of heretics. . . That I get to work with nowWomen and men, ppl of aboriginal heritage and others, engineers and artists, MBAs and culture workers create heretical business models that can dissrupt the business as usual . . .Hiring heretics, beyond A students, people who walk between worlds . . .Heretics wanted we need to remake just about everything, risk will be rewarded, good is the new black, business and ethics are aligning, there is much to fix, this work needs you. Our team is highly made up of outliers, ppl whose experience allow them to take risks, ppl who let themselves fail. Get the talented elders off the golf courses and beyond scotch collecting, harness the outsiders, outliers, learn from those in the margins, know what they know . . .
  • Cultures are complexClean energy = socially cleancollaborationEngineers = Cocky Cowboys afraid of lawyers, harsh because the love of my life is a white middle class engineer, Grandad worked on Manhatten projectFirst Nations well not
  • Urban community art pilots, a chance to show what we do more widly . . .earning, bootstrapping our way along
  • Clean energy is a plaform for local economic autonomy, if you control energy you control your future, energy key to food and many other building blocks Social entrepreneurship – highly entrepreneurial ppl, just offered bad versions of bad deals, curbed by indian act and cost of transactions, access to capital, racism, land ownership that is well not, wards of the state etc . . . Fish, berries, odd jobs, crafts, you name it, they make, do sell it . . .highly entrepreneurial against odds. Risk tolerant, collective benefits, all the makings of brilliant social entrepreneurs in alignment with culture and economy.
  • Our story is starting to stravel, Ashoka, Unreasonable Ugunte fellowships, media coverage in Fast company and coexist articles in the guardian, just did an interview with the WSJ . . .
  • FN projects seen as high risk in old modelNo lack of projectsNo lack of failures littering the landscapeNeed a technical slide – fircom, integrated renewables, track record info from stratford . . .We have not pitched before because we have been busy doing, executing, iterating, proving pieces of the model and getting paid for it, now we are ready to pitch. Bootstrapped to date (self invested 130k). Gross revenues X, hovering near break even. Proven our model with small community energy projects.Time to grow: Landing first commercial projects = game changer (in discussion with 3 communities now, BC and Alberta)Need to staff up, legal up, finance upOntario market = highly attractiveInternational interest, US, Australia, NZ, beyond Hockey stick growth is possible
  • First Power: Finance Lab at the Social Finance Forum 2012

    1. 1. Core values: learned from Indigenous communities • Equity and Reciprocity • Harmony between us and nature • Collectivity and Solidarity • Conservation of natural and cultural wealth for future generation • Oral cultures are rich in stories about how to live in the past and for the future • Power of Invitation and Listening • Art is sacred, culture is central
    2. 2. Commercial OUTPUT: JobsCommunity Carbon IMPACT: Reductions
    3. 3. Urban art and energy
    4. 4. Challenge: The right Investors• Need to identify investors who “can get it”• Culture and people left = assets• Risky space for others is our reward = disruptive